Forward Thinking on ‘Reading Backwards’– The Interview Part 5

10) I would like to suggest a dictum, and get your reaction--- No backward reading of the OT that violates or contradicts a forward reading of the meaning in the OT text is found in the NT. Yes, or no?***Here, Ben, I think you are “leading the witness.” I have not made an argument for the dictum that you suggest. It is such a broad generalization that I would hesitate to affirm it without a great deal more careful and comprehensive study than I have been able to do. Certainly there are pla … [Read more...]

Finding Jesus— Begins Sunday Night at 9 P.M. on CNN there archaeological evidence that helps us sort out the questions about the historical Jesus? Obviously, I do not yet know how the interviews and story of Jesus has been edited in this series, but we may hope it at least asks the right questions about the interface between faith and facts when it comes to Jesus. It will be worth watching. BW3 … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking on ‘Reading Backwards’– The Interview Part 4

8) One of the issues often raised about Matthew is the difference between prediction and fulfillment, the latter being a much larger category of things. So when Matthew says Is. 7.14 is fulfilled in the story of Jesus, would you take him to mean that it was predicted in Isaiah, or that Isaiah simply said more than he realized, speaking to his own immediate audience, and so Christ is a filling out of the story and a fulfilling of it that would go beyond the original intended meaning, but not … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking on ‘Reading Backwards’– The Interview Part 3

6) At one level you are arguing that if we pay attention to the broader OT contexts of the OT texts that are cited, paraphrased, alluded to or echoed, we will better understand what the Gospel writers are saying about Jesus and his ministry. That would seem to presuppose a very sophisticated audience that has ‘the requisite encyclopedia of reception’ (to use your phrase) for any or all of the canonical Gospels, or at least an audience with a few persons very knowledgeable of the OT who could exp … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking on ‘Reading Backwards’– The Interview, Part 2

3) What exactly do you mean by figural (or even metaphorical) reading of the OT? How would this differ from say an allegorical reading of the OT or a typological reading of the OT (ala Melchizedek and Christ in Hebrews)?***See pp. 1-4, 104-05 for definition and discussion of figural reading. Erich Auerbach’s classic treatment of figural reading proposes that “the two poles of a figure are separated in time, but both, being real events or persons, are within temporality.” This is very close to … [Read more...]

Man Shoveling Snow in Lexington while Break Dancing case you are wondering what's been going on besides cabin fever for the last three weeks in snowbound Lexington, here is something to give you a clue. … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking on ‘Reading Backwards’– The Interview, Part One

STARTING POINT---I take it as a given that you have clearly shown in this book that the narrative logic of all four Gospels is that Jesus is a part of the divine identity, and thus that strictly speaking there is no ‘low-Christology’ to use an old phrase, in any of them, if we take the collective witness of each whole Gospel on its own merits. This a fair summary of one of your major thrusts in the book, right?***Basically right. But it could be misleading to say there is no “low Chris … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking on Reading Backwards’– Part Six

In the Gospel of John the suggestions that 'Moses' (and the prophets)spoke about Jesus are repeatedly in evidence (Jn. 1.45). Jesus does not denigrate or dismiss Moses, rather Moses is said to testify about Jesus. "There is a fateful circularity here: reading the writings of Moses should lead to believing in Jesus; but in order to understand Moses words, one must first come to Jesus to receive life." (p. 77). Furthermore, one has to enter this hermeneutical loop at the very point this Gospel … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking on “Reading Backwards”– Part Five

Richard rightly stresses from the outset the importance of the Jesus Bible study for the bewildered disciples in Lk. 24, where, without explication it is said that the Law,Prophets, and Psalms all testify to Jesus. He intends to contest the notion that the Gospel of Luke represents a low Christology depicting Jesus as merely a Spirit inspired prophet, a teacher of wisdom, a righteous martyr. In other words, Luke is credited with depicting Jesus in the same manner the befuddled Emmaus Road … [Read more...]